ROLLING STONE: How Cam Models Are Finding Freedom in Cryptocurrency

Two years ago, Gabi was struggling to maintain a career in the adult industry. She worked long hours streaming live as a cam model and producing video content for her online audience, but the job didn’t seem to be paying off.

Since most major credit cards and payment platforms won’t process payments for adult services, including live-streamed erotic content, cam models like Gabi have to use specialized platforms to stream live shows and process payments from fans. Unfortunately, these sites can be extremely competitive, and some use ranking systems to determine models’ visibility on the site based on their time spent online.

“The longer you spend online without making any money, the lower your ranking drops,” Gabi says. “That puts you in a position where you literally have to work for free for days and days and days. Every hour that you spend online without getting tipped, you can just hear the ranking number dropping in the back of your head. It’s extremely anxiety inducing, because the lower you get down in the rankings, the less your chance of making any money to bring your ranking up.” She’d been burned by this system many times. One site, Gabi says, required a 65-percent cut of her tips, in addition to the rights to use her image for advertising purposes as they saw fit. “They advertised me as a ‘Local sexy single in your area ready to fuck for free,’” Gabi says. “Nothing about my services are free.”

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How Cam Models are finding freedom in Cryptocurrency by Sofia Barrett-Ibarria

March 21st, 2019

 


FORBES: How Sextech Pioneers Are Outsmarting Conservative Gatekeepers

For the past several years, sexual wellness has been one of the fastest growing sectors in global retail. The sector’s annual growth (CAGR) is a stunning 6.7%, and it’s projected to reach $122 billion by 2026. And yet, at nearly every stage — from investment to production to marketing — gatekeepers seem intent on hobbling it.

Any sextech entrepreneur will tell you the barriers they face are legion. Facebook and Google largely prohibit ads for sextech, including female sexual wellness products. Major app stores routinely ban apps related to sex, and increasingly restrict even what users say and do. Institutional investors and mainstream conferences often avoid the space out due to conservative boards.

But today’s sextech entrepreneurs aren't mistaking the gatekeepers’ power for invincibility — rather, the opposite. For many, a gatekeeper’s refusal to engage with sextech is a sign of their stagnation and obsolescence, and a weakness that can be used against them.

Take Osé. In January, the Consumer Electronic Show — one of the biggest gatekeepers in tech — famously rescinded an innovation award for the robotic massager, citing a morals clause. The company behind it, Lora DiCarlo, was even denied booth space on the CES show floor.

And yet Osé was possibly the most talked about launch at CES, garnering nearly two hundred press mentions — over $2M in free marketing and advertising, according to Lora DiCarlo founder Lora Haddock.

Read the full article: 

How Sextech Pioneers are outsmarting conservative gatekeepers by Andrea Barrica

March 19th, 2019


IN THESE TIMES: When Sex Workers Do the Labor of Therapists

Sky is a professional escort. She’s been working at Sheri’s Ranch, a legal brothel located in Pahrump, Nevada, for a little under a year. A few months back, a man came in asking for a group session with Sky, who prefers to be identified by her professional name, and one of her colleagues. He had come around a few times before. He made it a point to keep in touch through Twitter. This time, however, the session took a dark turn. He came in to tell them he was planning on killing himself.

“We see a lot of clients who have mental health issues,” she tells In These Times. Though, this experience was markedly more dramatic than her usual run in with clients who going through a depressive episode. She and her colleague were eventually able to talk the guy down. They sent him home with a list full of resources that specialize in matters of depression. They asked that he continue to check in with them through social media.

Research suggests that upwards of 6 million men are affected by depression every year. Suicide remains the seventh leading cause of death among men in America. While it’s impossible to gauge exactly what percentage of that demographic frequents sex workers, the experiences of those in the field can offer some insight. During Sky’s last tour at the Ranch, she scheduled about seven appointments. Out of those bookings, only one involved sex. “We do a lot of companionship and intimacy parties,” she says. “The clients who sign up for those bookings are the ones struggling with loneliness.”

And people with depression aren't the only neurodivergent individuals sex workers encounter on the job. Those suffering from anxiety, a common accompaniment to depression, show up frequently. They also see a lot of people who fall on the autistic spectrum. In fact, Sky says she sees men who fall into the latter demographic relatively often.

 

Read the full article: 

When Sex Workers Do the Labor of Therapists by Carrie Weisman

March 18, 2019


CARE2: What’s the Difference Between Sex Work Decriminalization and Legalization?

Sex work is illegal almost everywhere in the United States, and that’s part of the reason it remains so dangerous. One study in San Francisco found that 82 percent of sex workers had been assaulted and 68 percent had been raped while working. Another study found that sex workers were 18 times more likely to be murdered than non-sex workers their age and race. Eighteen times.

All too often, sex workers are afraid of going to police and reporting violence, because they don’t want to get arrested themselves. No victim of violence should have to fear legal consequences from reporting a crime to the police.

Regardless of anyone’s individual feelings about sex work itself, hopefully we can all agree that reducing the risk of sex work and violence against sex workers is a worthy goal. But how do we do that? The question is more complicated than most of us realize, but an important step is understanding the difference between decriminalizing sex work and legalizing it.

Read the full article: 

What's the difference between Sex Work decriminalization and legalization? by Lauren Longo

March 15th, 2019


THE SLOT: The Fight to Decriminalize Sex Work Exposes Old Feminist Divides

This is an unprecedented political moment for the rights of sex workers, due in large part to the sustained organizing of sex workers themselves. Signs of this are everywhere—last month, Kamala Harris spoke approvingly of decriminalizing the sale of sex between “consenting adults,” a move that Melissa Gira Grant, a longtime journalist covering the industry, wrote“represents a major win for sex workers,” Harris’s past work as a prosecutor notwithstanding. Weeks earlier, Decrim NY, a new coalition pushing for the full decriminalization of the sex trade in New York was launched, led primarily by sex workers, anti-violence activists, and LGBTQ service providers. As part of that effort, newly elected New York state senators Jessica Ramos and Julia Salazar announced they plan on introducing legislation to decriminalize the sex trade later this spring. All of this in the span of months.

As Molly Crabapple noted recently in the New York Review of Books, sex workers began organizing around full decriminalization in earnest in 2018:

That April, the US Congress passed FOSTA/SESTA, twin bills that stripped sex workers of the ability to advertise or seek support online by making websites criminally liable for their postings. This impoverished the community, forcing some workers back to pimps or onto streets, where they faced arrest or assault.”

In response, sex workers—both young women and longtime activists—got together and mobilized to fight for full decriminalization of their work.

The complete decriminalization of the sex trade is an approach that has gained traction in recent years, with even groups such as Amnesty International callingfor “the decriminalization of all aspects of adult consensual sex work due to the foreseeable barriers that criminalization creates to the realization of the human rights of sex workers.” But as with every successful movement, there has been a backlash, led by longstanding feminist organizations that continue to assert that sex work is, to use the words of Gloria Steinem, a form of “body invasion.” Full decriminalization, no matter the studies that have been conducted, the first-hand experiences of many sex workers or people otherwise targeted with anti-prostitution laws, and the endorsements from human rights organizations, is still seen as a radical idea, and more to the point, one that some feminists believe is antithetical to the needs of women.

Read the full article:

The fight to decriminalize sex work exposes old feminist divides by Esther Wang

March 12th, 2019


OPEN SOCIETY FOUNDATIONS: Sex Workers’ Untold Stories

Throughout the world, sex work is stigmatized as taboo, immoral, and dangerous.

Sex workers, meanwhile, are assumed to be victims—of human trafficking, drugs, abuse, and so on. In both cases, these assumptions are factually incorrect; worse still, they fuel policies and norms which not only fail to “protect” sex workers but, by forcing them underground, imperil their safety and health.

Thankfully, Objects of Desire, a new exhibition, based in Berlin and organized by a sex worker collective, is working to challenge—and dismantle—such misconceptions. By highlighting the ways in which sex workers manage relationships with their clients, lovers, families, and neighbors, Objects of Desire shows the complexity that is all too often lost in public debates about sex work.

Check out the exhibit:

Objects of Desire

Sex Workers' Untold Stories by Erin Greenburg

March 11th, 2019


AMUSE: Sex in Our Strange World - Why Matriarchy Means Better Sex and a Better Society

According to Greek mythology, the Amazons were a race of warrior women who refused to live with men. So far, so sensible. In order to continue their survival, once a year the Amazons would visit the neighbouring tribe, the Gargareans, to have sex with the male inhabitants.

Once the Amazons had got what they wanted, they would discard their lover like a soggy tissue, and return to their homeland – hopefully, pregnant. Nine months later, the Amazons would keep all the girl babies and either return the boys to their fathers or just leave them to die on a hillside somewhere. Brutal.

For most of us, the phrase ‘matriarchal society’ conjures images akin to the mythical sperm stealing, spear snapping, man-walloping world of the Amazons. But, anthropologists are keen to stress that matriarchy is not the opposite of patriarchy. It does not mean a world where women rule over men.

Simply put, a matriarchal society is one where women are not disadvantaged by virtue of being women, where power is shared between the genders, and where mothers are placed at the centre of the culture. And, believe it or not, there are a still number of matriarchal societies around the world today.

Heide Göttner-Abendroth is the leading world authority on matriarchal societies, having founded the International Academy for Modem Matriarchal Studies and Matriarchal Spirituality in 1986. She defines a matriarchal society as operating on four levels: economic, social, political, and cultural.

 

Read the full article:

Sex in Our Strange World - Why Matriarchy Means Better Sex and a Better Society by Kate Lister

March 7, 2019


STRONG FEELINGS: Sex Work is Work with Jessica Raven

Stopping sex trafficking sounds like a great idea—and it is! But often, anti-trafficking laws actually make sex workers more vulnerable. We talk with sex work decriminalization advocate and all-around amazing guest Jessica Raven about the myths and realities of the sex trade, and how all us can better support people working in it.

EPISODE NOTES

Jessica is the executive director at The Audre Lorde Project and an activist and organizer advocating for sex workers—first with Decrim Now and now with the brand-new Decim NY. Her passion for the work stems from her own experiences with gendered violence, homelessness, and the sex trade. We fell in love with her insight, her voice, and her incredible compassion. You will too.

Listen to the full episode: 

Sex work is Work with Jessica Raven by Strong Feelings podcast

March 7th, 2019


ROLLING STONE: Sex-Work Decriminalization Is Becoming an Issue For 2020

To put it in standard public relations parlance, sex-work decriminalization is having something of a moment. New York lawmakers Julia Salazar and Jessica Ramos have announced plans to introduce a bill making New York the first state to decriminalize sex work, and last month a California senator introduced a bill making it easier for sex workers to report violent crimes. And the country’s most famous sex worker, Stormy Daniels, has in part used her new platform as a way to advance the cause, tweeting about sex workers’ rights issues and speaking at multiple sex workers’ rights rallies across the country.

Given the newfound visibility of sex workers’ rights, and the overlap the movement has with women’s rights and workers’ rights as a whole, the 2020 Democratic presidential candidates are in the position of having to address an issue that has previously been on the margins of the national conversation. But it’s unclear how many of them plan to do that.

Case in point: Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT), who, in a recent interview with The Breakfast Club, was asked whether he supported sex work decriminalization. “That’s a good question and I don’t have an answer for that,” he said.

Read the full article:

Sex Work decriminalization is becoming an issue for 2020 by EJ Dickson

March 6th, 2019


THE LINK: Sex Editorial - Sexually Submissive Men Have Something to Say

It’s pretty much unquestionable that BDSM is having its 15 minutes of fame culturally.

The massive popularity of the book 50 Shades of Grey and it’s inevitable, on-screen adaptation prove that the public is eager to learn more about the world of BDSM, which commonly stands for bondage, domination, sadism and masochism, though there are variations under that moniker.

It’s not surprising that BDSM is enjoying more mainstream success; a study revealed that 51 per cent of men and approximately 39 percent of women were sexually aroused by the idea of having a dominant or submissive sexual partner. These results also reveal that more men than women are attracted to the idea of having someone be sexually submissive to them.

What is lacking about the mainstream depictions of BDSM is variety. 50 Shades of Grey centres around the love/sex story of two characters, the naive/innocent student journalist Ana and the mysterious and damaged businessman Christian Grey (the namesake of the movie).

A lot of cultural dialogue around the subject, including mainstream media sources, have imposed a heterosexual idea that reinforces existing gender binaries, where the man is the dominant partner and the woman the submissive.

It ignores the experiences of sexually submissive men and dominant women, arguably because they flout social customs. We live in a sexist patriarchal culture that promotes and profits off the physical and emotional submission of women.

Men who are sexually submissive are essentially giving the finger to social norms, and that isn’t comfortable to people who promote a mainstream, church-on-Sundays, mashed-potatoes-every-Wednesday kind of existence.

Pseudonyms have been used for the people interviewed, to protect their privacy, as well as their current and future employment opportunities.

Calvin Hobbes

Hobbes is a submissive latex-loving man, who loves to serve his Mistress. “I feel complete when I’m submissive—whether that’s in a sexual context or in terms of being obedient to my partner in day-to-day life,” said Hobbes.

 

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Sex Editorial: Sexually Submissive Men Have Something to Say by Ayesha White

March 5, 2019